City Commissioner, Terry Cunningham, and I have talked a lot in the recent week about what all of us need to know, what we can do and perhaps NOT do as the Bozeman area deals with the reality of COVID-19.

Terry is a pretty "in the know" guy during times like these and has put together info, tips and tricks to get through all this. We'll share them with you!

Daily Update / Tip:
There is now confirmation of “community spread” of Covid-19 virus in Gallatin County – meaning that people have tested positive for the virus who have not traveled outside the county. This means that community members are spreading the virus to one another. We need to take this situation very seriously. Dr. Sanjay Gupta provides good advice: “We all need to act as if we might be carrying the virus.” That mindset emphasizes how dependent we are on one another to keep proper social distance and to make good decisions about how we interact with one another.

FAQ:
Q: If I am staying at home, should I still be washing my hands frequently? A: Yes. Since the virus can remain on certain surfaces – mail, delivered packages, grocery items, etc. - washing your hands frequently ensures that you’re protecting yourself form items originating from outside your home. One additional note: soap and warm water have been proven very effective in eliminating the virus.

Pulling Together:
At least two different mini-lending-libraries in Bozeman have been converted to mini-food-pantries. (See photos) These lending pantries contain ready-to-eat and packaged food items, toilet paper and other essentials. The signs ask neighbors to help with these pantries, and for the public to only take what they need. A great example of neighbors helping neighbors.

What Can I Do?
If you have time to volunteer, you are invited to go to volunteermt.org and click on the NEEDS button to learn about volunteer opportunities in our area. These range from washing dishes at the Fork & Spoon to helping at the Food Bank to helping deep-clean childcare classrooms to helping childcare providers rock babies or read books. There’s a slot for you – scroll through the opportunities at the website.